Peter Callesen doesn’t see a piece of paper as a flat surface, but as a pre-sculpture. The Danish artist has perfected the art of kirigami, using only an X-acto knife to transform plain sheets of white paper into detailed sculptural pieces. Skeletons, animals and architecture emerge from unassuming A4 sheets that rest on table tops.
Through meticulous and carefully calculated cuts, Callesen removes just enough of the paper to create his three dimensional forms. Reminiscent to spatial problems on SAT tests, the artist must predetermine and visualize the area and shape needed to fold the cuts into his desired form – all before placing the blade to the page. With a slim margin of error, the cuts must be precise, if not perfect, so that no excess paper is cut from the static page.
Callesen almost miraculously has the gift of transforming plain paper into sculpture forms that resemble carved wood or even marble in some cases. His arched skeleton hand and broken marble columns look as if made from a solid mass, instead of a lone sheet of paper. Birds in flight emerge from the page with three dimensional bodies that do not give away their fragile single sheet mass.
What is even more impressive is the subsequent designs Callesen makes with the cutaway negative space. Each is as perfect as the sculptures themselves, creating a shadow of the impressive shapes that emerge from the A4 page. Callesen has mastered the art form of paper cutting, transforming the page into a work of art.